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President Duterte Easing Lockdown in Philippine Capital

The MECQ in Metro Manila will now transition to a relaxed GCQ starting June 1, President Duterte said on Thursday, May 28.

President Duterte approved the recommendation of the IATF to downgrade the quarantine restrictions over the country’s capital region — which is now deemed as a “high-to-moderate-risk area” starting June 1.

“We are not happy to put you in this place, but after review, maybe we can,” Duterte said in an address to the nation aired Thursday night.

This is also in line with the recommendation of all 17 mayors of the National Capital Region to shift from modified enhanced community quarantine to a more relaxed GCQ to allow more nonessential businesses to reopen in the hopes of restarting the economy and helping workers amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The following areas will also be under GCQ for 15 days:

  •  Entire Region 2 (Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Santiago City)
  •  Entire Region 3 (Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac)
  •  Entire Region 4-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Lucena City)
  •  Albay
  •  Pangasinan
  •  Davao City

Meanwhile, the rest of the country will be placed under a modified general community quarantine.

Starting June 1, buses will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity in Metro Manila, but modern jeepneys are still not allowed to operate for three more weeks. Trains and buses plying train service routes will be allowed to run immediately, along with shuttles of private companies, transport network vehicle services such as GrabCar, taxis, tricycles, and point-to-point buses.

According to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, there’s no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to issue another executive order on the imposition of the GCQ and MGCQ as the government will adopt the guidelines long released by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.